In Seattle, they're calling him The Pied Piper - someone who comes in the night and takes children away. To newly promoted police lieutenant Lou Boldt and police psychologist Daphne Matthews, it's clear this isn't about a single lunatic or random kidnappings: these crimes are well orchestrated, well executed, and, most chilling of all, occurring in cities across the country.
Boldt is the first to establish that behind the kidnappings is a well-financed and brilliantly planned network, and his investigation soon attracts the FBI, which also brings heavy manpower - and political competition - that Boldt fears could slow them down until the trail runs dry. As long as the kidnappings continue, there may be a chance of getting the children back alive. Or is it already too late?